Fixing a niece's birthday song!

Hi Everyone

This is my first post in these forums, in fact I’ve registered in order to solve this problem so I hope you know how to help!

My girlfriend’s niece recently sang at a birthday party and I’m putting the audio together as part of a home movie. Unfortunately, the microphone cut out towards the end of the song, it’s fairly obvious and we don’t want her to get embarrassed watching it back.

I’ve got my girlfriend to sing the same parts in the hope of overlaying it, and I’ve had limited success so far. The link below has four file samples:

HB 1 - This is the original recording from the video
HB 2a - The new vocal my girlfriend recorded
HB 2b - My attempts so far to vary the above using the Change Pitch effect
HB 3 - The original karaoke track our niece sang in front of

HB 2b has varying success, it’s certainly in the right direction but there’s clearly a long way to go before it sounds completely convincing. I have other parts of the song to fix too but in principle they’re all the same as this. I know that both vocals go a little flat in places, that would be nice to fix but it’s where the audio’s missing entirely that I really want to eliminate. So, the question from the bottom of my heart is…

…would anyone be able to tell me what effects and settings I can apply to HB2a so it will overlay on top of the original


…to HB2a and HB3 so that I can block those parts out of HB1 and have them take its place completely?

I would be endlessly grateful for your help.

Thank you for your time,


Matching up the new recording is going to be very difficult without it being totally obvious. I think I would go for some judicious editing of the original video to pick out the best bits and convey the spirit of the occasion.

or overdub the entire vocal performance, not just the missing bit.
like they do with actors in movies who cannot carry a tune in a bucket.

[Redubbing niece with a male singer could be amusing].

It’s called looping. The voice actor watches a short segment of the performance over and over again and says the lines. They record everything and push into the movie the sound take that worked the best. The voice actor is singing to a film “loop.”

I’m with them on the man’s voice. If there’s an undistorted introduction, leave that alone and switch to the man’s voice during the performance. It will be falling down funny – especially if you can get a really good male singer to kick in. It’s not easy work.

You will never watch a movie musical the same way again.

“Wait, that’s not the same voice…”

Google Marni Nixon

She was at least one voice – sometimes more than one in all those movies. Frequently in place of the real actress. Never credited at the time. We’re very pleased she’s getting the recognition – if a little late.


Ha! Thanks for the suggestions guys but I really want to get the female vocal working…

I should probably ask simple, more specific questions on this really - if I wanted to take a clean recorded vocal and make it sound poorer quality, more muffled and like it was recorded in a noisy room with a handheld video recorder, what effects/settings could I use?



The “Leveller” effect in Audacity 1.3 can be used for creating distortion.
Gverb can be used to make the sound more distant.
The Equalizer effect can be used to adjust the “tone” of the recording.